Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Staging the Self

A Piece of Me

I had to stage myself. I was the subject matter and had complete control. The challenge, however, was putting myself in front of the camera. There is a reason why I am behind the camera. I realized, however, that this project is a means of self-exploration and introspection, and I wanted to question some essential trait of my identity.

I grew up playing the piano. I began playing when I was about 5-years-old. I took lessons, participated in recitals, and begged anybody around to listen to me play. Playing the piano for me was a talent—a talent I defined myself by and was recognized for. It was not until high school that I drifted away from music and spent more time with the camera. Since then, I have wanted to reintroduce myself to the piano and revive my skill.

I actually went home to photograph, and this changed my entire outlook on the project. I was in the environment I grew up in, an environment I was familiar with, and its surroundings changed my feelings toward the piano.

I dressed as I did when I was younger—jean overalls, ruffle socks, Ked shoes, headbands, and bows—and placed myself as if I was practicing the piano at home and in my beginning stages of my piano career.

In one image, I placed the camera above the piano as an overhead shot. Instead of my posture being upright and proper, I am slouched over, with my legs crossed, and hands under them. I was trying to portray a hesitant and inexperienced child with her piano...

I titled this series, A Piece of Me, as play on words. Usually, a piano song is referred to as a piano piece, and I am suggesting that a piece of me is still in the piano bench that sits at home, unopened, untouched, and undisturbed.

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